Tilak Singh (Ranjeet) the dreaded and famous dacoit struck terror in the hearts of the people with a blasting gun in one hand and a vengeanceful hanging rope in the other. His anger bursts forth in a terrible oath when Raju (Shashi Kapoor) clashes with him and kills a few of his dacoits in saving a marriage party from being looted in a train.
The only aim in Tlak's life now is to search and destroy Raju, who unaware of the lurking death in spending a carefree and a happy leave from the police force, with his fiance Chhaya (Sulakshna Pandit) a childhood friend Abdul (Asrani) and the members of his family in a village. At a report about Rajus's whereabouts from his agent Lala (Jeevan), Tilak Singh decends on the innocent villagers and in the absence of Raju, his old father becomes the victim of the merciless rope and is hanged, while the young sister dies in the village well to save her honour.
Raju comes back with his mother to find his world shattered to pieces. To catch and punish Tilak becomes an obsession with him and following him relentlessly he starts destroying his men, one by one. In exchange Tilak Singh would have killed Raju's mother but Himmat Singh (Pran), formerly a dacoit leader, but now rehabilitated and a simple peasant, saves her at the risk of his own life. His entry into the village brings a new hope of survival for the terrified. He shelters on injured Raju and joining hands with him, becomes a source of fear and misery for Tilak, who against their combined forces is defeated at every turn and is put on the run and hounded everywhere - till he turns the table's on them and smashing into - Himmat Singh's home beats him into unconsciousness, and leaves him for dead amidst the smouldering walls.
At Tilak Singh's instigation, Chhaya is caught by Lala and kept at a ransom for her honour. Did she pay it?
And Abdul fights for his life with one of Tilak Singh's dacoit to save the dignity and honour of friendship. Did he succeed?
Answers to all these questions! See "PHAANSI".
(From the official press booklet)